Walnuts Boost Male Fertility and Heart Health
Most of us realize that walnuts are not just delicious tree nuts. They are also good for our heart. But most of us didn’t realize that walnuts were also significantly healthy for us because they increase a male’s fertility.
Male fertility from walnuts
Research shows that eating just 75 grams of walnuts a day for three months increases sperm count. It also increases male fertility. Aren’t these the same things? Yes and no.
The research, from the University of California at Los Angeles recruited 117 young volunteers (men of course) who were in healthy condition. They also consumed a typical western diet. The scientists had 59 of the men eat 75 grams of walnuts per day for three months. The rest of the men (58 of them) didn’t eat walnuts or any other tree nuts.
Before and after the three months, the men were examined for sperm count and sperm health along with blood tests. Those who ate the walnuts experienced a significant boost in sperm quality – vitality, sperm motility and sperm morphology. Sperm aneuploidy measures, which test chromosomes, were also improved among those who ate the walnuts for the three month period.
Infertility issues widespread
Epidemiological research has estimated that some 70 million couples around the world suffer from infertility issues. From 30% to 50% of infertility issues are due to fertility among men. Between three and five million men seek fertility treatments every year.
The research was led by UCLA Professor Wendie Robbins, Ph.D., R.N. “The positive finding of walnuts on sperm may be a result of their unique nutrient profile,” Dr. Robbins stated after the study.
Dr. Catherine Carpenter, an associate professor of medicine at UCLA commented:
“these findings are not surprising when you look at the nutritious content of walnuts, however the results are amazing considering the impact they might have on men of all ages, including older men, and men with impaired fertility.”
The research findings correlated fertility improvement with the walnuts’ alpha-linolenic acid content, along with other nutrients.
Dr. Robbins suggested that the male’s diet is rarely considered in modern fertility issues:
“Diet is not just maternal territory anymore.”
Walnuts provide many nutrients
Walnuts contain a bunch of healthy nutrients. Just a cup of chopped walnuts contains 18 ounces of protein, or about 15% by weight. Walnuts contain many of B vitamins, for example, folate at 115 mcg, B6 at 600 mcg and thiamin at 400 mcg. And a cup of walnuts will contain 115 milligrams of calcium, 185 milligrams of magnesium and 516 milligrams of potassium. Walnuts are also high in manganese – with 200% of US Daily Value. Walnuts are also rich in selenium and phytosterols.
But it is walnuts’ omega-3 content that blows the doors off of most foods, at 10,623 milligrams of omega-3s per cup. Much of this comes in the form of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Healthy livers convert ALA to eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) as needed, at a rate of between 7% and 36%. Studies of men and women conducted at the UK’s University of Southampton found an average conversion rate of 36% from ALA to EPA, DHA and other N-3s in women and 16% in men. The liver converts ALA using the delta-6-desaturase and elongase enzymes.
It is not surprising that walnuts have been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol, improve artery health, reduce blood pressure and reduce inflammation.
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